Charleston Daily Mail | Mike Casazza: NCAA change could shift recruiting practices

On Tuesday, the NCAA didn’t merely budge. It relented. The governing body of college sports adopted a handful of shrewd rules that, it says, enhance the well-being of student-athletes. Chief among them is the one that will allow for all-you-can-eat conditions at your favorite athletic department.

It is long overdue, and it’s had the NCAA’s attention for months. Before UConn guard Shabazz Napier said at the Final Four he sometimes went to bed hungry because his scholarship didn’t cover enough food. Before WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen told me in July he had walk-ons and scholarship players who were starving at the end of a long day for the same reasons Napier claimed.

Now student-athletes and walk-ons are on track to have unlimited meals and snacks, provided the idea survives the override period (not guaranteed) and is approved later this month (more likely than not). Thank Napier for giving the topic attention. Thank Holgorsen for being bold enough to point out the problem. Thank their brethren who have said the same without the same spotlight.

But believe it or not, it’s wise to thank the NCAA.

via Charleston Daily Mail | Mike Casazza: NCAA change could shift recruiting practices.

Sloanhoffer’s Career Ends at NCAAs – WVU Athletics

West Virginia University senior Hope Sloanhoffer ended her Mountaineer career with a 38.725 showing at the 2014 NCAA National Championships, tonight, at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center.

Sloanhoffer, a Cornwall, N.Y., native, finished 19th in the all-around in tonight’s semifinal session. She just missed earning All-America honors, as she finished ninth on vault with a season-best 9.875 score. The top-eight places, including ties, earn All-America awards.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Hope,” says Mountaineer coach Jason Butts. “This was her first time at this event in this exciting environment, and for her to hit her first three routines was great. That fall on beam was so uncharacteristic, but she will not be defined by it. I’m very happy for the night she had.”

via Sloanhoffer's Career Ends at NCAAs – WVU Athletics.

Baseball Falls at Oklahoma in Eighth Inning – WVU Athletics

The WVU baseball team fell 5-3 in a back-and-forth game against Oklahoma on Friday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Oklahoma’s Mac James launched a two-run home run over the left field fence to give the Sooners the go-ahead lead.

The series is now tied after WVU won the first game, 7-0, on Thursday evening. West Virginia (18-16, 3-7 Big 12) finished with six hits and did not record an error for the third-straight game. The Sooners improved to 25-15 overall and 5-6 in Big 12 play.

Junior left-hander Harrison Musgrave (3-3) dropped his second-straight Big 12 contest, pitching eight innings and allowing five runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

via Baseball Falls at Oklahoma in Eighth Inning – WVU Athletics.

Munden’s Improvement Paces Mountaineers – WVU Athletics

A pleasant surprise this season for the West Virginia University baseball team has been the play of junior shortstop Taylor Munden, who has shown the ability to jumpstart the offense and play sound defense.

“Last year was tough time for me. I took that as motivation to go into this year and taking my defense to heart,” Munden says. “I had a lot of errors last year and I have tried to fix that. The game has really slowed down for me this year and I think I’ve played my role and not tried to do to much.”

Last night, Munden led the Mountaineers off with a single in the first inning, triggering a five-run first inning that became a 7-0 victory. It marked the 11th time Munden has reached to lead off in 31 games this season.

via Munden's Improvement Paces Mountaineers – WVU Athletics.

WATCH: WVU Gold-Blue Game Replay

Dana Holgorsen and the West Virginia University football team wrapped up their spring practices with the annual Gold-Blue Game in front of an estimated 10,000 fans at Milan Puskar Stadium.

WVU debuted the 2014 edition of the Mountaineers squad in a scrimmage that ended with the Gold team beating the Blue by a final of 37-27.

via WATCH: WVU Gold-Blue Game Replay – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – WVU special teams: Aiming to be really special in 2014

Today continues a position-by-position examination of where the West Virginia football team stands after spring practice.

The eight-day video series scours the two-deep as the Mountaineers glimpse ahead to the 2014 season, Dana Holgorsen’s fourth at the helm.

via WV MetroNews – WVU special teams: Aiming to be really special in 2014.

Scoop and Score (4/17/2014) : With Guest Dave Bartoo

Mike Casazza has been covering WVU athletics for 11 years. It only feels like 111.

Born in Hamilton, Ohio, and the victim of an earthquake the day he was baptized, he more or less grew up in Manassas, Va., where he attended Osbourn High. It is the same school Brandon Hogan led to its first state championship in 2006 and later gave WVU soccer flashy midfielder Travis Pittman. Mike would like to take some credit — and he has tried — but to no avail.

via Scoop and Score (4/17/2014) : With Guest Dave Bartoo.

The Charleston Gazette | Full-contact practices a hit with Holgorsen, QBs

If Dana Holgorsen found out nothing else about the three quarterbacks he had available during spring practices, it was how they performed under live conditions.

Truth is, he probably didn’t find out a whole lot more.

He already knew what one of the three, senior Paul Millard, could do after watching him for three years.

Skyler Howard, the junior college transfer, spent most of the spring simply learning what to do more so than showing what he could do.

And the same is pretty much true for walk-on Logan Moore who, while he’s been in the program going on two years, has mainly run other teams’ offenses with the scout team or dabbled at receiver.

via The Charleston Gazette | Full-contact practices a hit with Holgorsen, QBs.

Means Throws Eight Shutout Innings in Win at OU – WVU Athletics

Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

"There is no way to draw it up any better than that. Means went deep into the game, his pitch count was low and he got outs early in the count," coach Randy Mazey says. "Ross (Vance) gave us a spark on Tuesday. Now that they know Sean (Carley) is at the end of the bullpen, I told a lot of people that it is going to take some pressure off our offense to try so hard to perform. We played a lot looser tonight and offensively we made things happen."

The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

via Means Throws Eight Shutout Innings in Win at OU – WVU Athletics.

Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Information

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will open the 2014 college football season with not one, but two marquee games in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

The first game will feature Ole Miss versus Boise State on Thursday, Aug. 28. The opening game will kick off at 8:00 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

The second game will pit projected pre-season top-5-ranked Alabama against West Virginia on Saturday, Aug. 30. The Crimson Tide vs. the Mountaineers will kick off at 3:30 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on ABC and ESPN2.

Both games represent the first-ever meeting between the teams.

via Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Information – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WVU Adds Tarik Phillip to 2014 Class

West Virginia has added one more piece to its basketball team with the signing of Tarik Phillip for the 2014-15 academic year.

Head coach Bob Huggins announced that Phillip, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Mountaineers starting this upcoming season.

Phillip currently attends Independence Community College and come to WVU with three years of eligibility remaining.

"We are excited to be able to land a guard as talented as Tarik in the late signing period," Huggins said in a release from the University. "Every coach we talked to labeled Tarik as a winner. He gives us much-needed versatility in the backcourt with the ability to play both guard positions. We look for him to be very instrumental in our quest to become a great defensive team again."

via WVU Adds Tarik Phillip to 2014 Class – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – Linebackers: Will they be nasty or negligible?

Today continues a position-by-position examination of where the West Virginia football team stands after spring practice.

The eight-day video series runs through the two-deep as we look four months ahead to the Mountaineers’ 2014 opener against Alabama and Year 3 in the Big 12 Conference.

via WV MetroNews – Linebackers: Will they be nasty or negligible?.

Consistency crucial for WVU moving forward – The Daily Athenaeum Online: Sports

West Virginia’s 2013 season was a failure for many reasons. One of the biggest among those was the constant turnaround at the quarterback position.

With spring practice behind them, head coach Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers are in a similar position to that of their 4-8 campaign in 2013.

The offense showed some signs of life during the Gold-Blue Spring game, albeit mostly against the second team defense, but for the unit to improve and stand a chance against Alabama in the season opener, someone has to step up and take the starting quarterback job.

via Consistency crucial for WVU moving forward – The Daily Athenaeum Online: Sports.

WVU defense improves significantly over two years – The Daily Athenaeum Online: Sports

In the 2012 season, the West Virginia Mountaineers allowed 131 more points than any other WVU football team in a single season in school history.

The majority of the problems seemed to stem from within the defensive secondary. On three separate occasions during the 2012 season, an opposing team threw for more than  500 yards. The only three times in West Virginia history that has ever happened. Two of those opposing quarterbacks threw six touchdowns each – another Mountaineers’ opponent record.

Collectively, WVU’s opponents threw for 4,078 yards and 38 touchdowns compared to just 10 interceptions in 2012. For a little perspective, Heisman winner Jameis Winston threw for 4,057 yards, 40 touchdowns and 10 picks in the 2013 season.

via WVU defense improves significantly over two years – The Daily Athenaeum Online: Sports.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU football: Garrison finds his way with strong spring

Dustin Garrison had 19 yards rushing last season. He had four carries go at least that long when he ran for 291 yards against Bowling Green in 2011.

In the parlance of college football, that was a lifetime ago. That was a torn ACL, a bum hamstring and two lost seasons ago — and technically, one of those seasons never happened. Forced to play in 2012 and hobbled by the hamstring to the point he took a medical redshirt last season, Garrison is back, seemingly better than ever and very much in the thick of the crowded competition at running back.

“He had a great spring,” running backs coach JaJuan Seider said after Saturday’s Gold-Blue Game. “He did exactly what he was supposed to do. He went out and competed his butt off every day.

“Dustin’s a guy who’s been counted out his whole life, but the only thing he ever does is find a way.”

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU football: Garrison finds his way with strong spring.

The Charleston Gazette | New rule should help solve WVU QB question

To imagine that college football coaches don’t have enough contact with their players seems rather ludicrous in many ways. The sport has essentially become a year-round exercise that borders more on a full-time job than a diversion, perhaps no better example being the attempt of Northwestern’s players to unionize.

There has always been, however, a rather odd hole in that contact. During June and July, perhaps the most critical period of what passes as the sport’s offseason, coaches have never been permitted contact with their players. They could suggest that the players show up for conditioning — a suggestion that was a de facto demand if they hoped to have any chance of success once practice began in August — but weren’t allowed any contact beyond passing each other in the hallways.

Well, that hole has now been filled. Beginning this summer, football rules will more closely mirror those of men’s and women’s basketball. Coaches are not only allowed to make strength and conditioning mandatory for as much as eight hours a week, they can also use two of those eight hours for film study with the players.

via The Charleston Gazette | New rule should help solve WVU QB question.

Watch Around the Horn With Randy Mazey – WVU Athletics

It's once again time to go Around the Horn, with Mountaineer baseball coach Randy Mazey and Jeff Culhane. Presented by Coca-Cola.

via Watch Around the Horn With Randy Mazey – WVU Athletics.

Harlee Named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year – WVU Athletics

The Big 12 Conference announces its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.

Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

A Bel Air, Md., native, Harlee maintains a 3.93 GPA in industrial engineering and is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member. She was a 2013 Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award recipient and was, most recently, chosen as WVU’s Student Organization Services’ Kenneth D. Gray Student Leadership Award honoree.

via Harlee Named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year – WVU Athletics.

VIDEO INTERVIEWS: Vance Strikes Out 14 in Win Against Ohio State

In his first career start for the WVU baseball team, sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out 14 en route to a 4-1 victory over Ohio State on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

Vance (1-0) pitched a complete game, allowing one run on eight hits with two walks. His 13 strikeouts was a career high and set a season high for Mountaineer pitchers. He also picked off two runners

The win breaks a seven game losing streak by West Virginia and brings the Mountaineer's overall record to 17-15.

Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second as Vance hit a batter with the bases loaded, but the Mountaineers answered in the bottom half to take a 2-1 lead. Junior designated Max Nogay hit his third home run of the season over the left field fence. The blast plated senior first baseman Ryan McBroom, who led off the inning with a line drive double off the left field wall.

via VIDEO INTERVIEWS: Vance Strikes Out 14 in Win Against Ohio State – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – Defensive line: Can no-name group hold the front?

Today launches a position-by-position examination of where the West Virginia football team stands after spring practice.

The eight-day video series runs through the two-deep—and even the four-deep in the case of that persistent quarterbacks quandary—as we look four months ahead to the Mountaineers’ 2014 opener against Alabama and Year 3 in the Big 12 Conference.

via WV MetroNews – Defensive line: Can no-name group hold the front?.